Sixers hold nerve to claim maiden WBBL title
THE Sydney Sixers have held their nerve to "scrap" their way to the WBBL02 title, defeating the Perth Scorchers by seven runs.
It's been a feature of their season to hang on to win and the Sixers did it again when they looked in trouble having posted a seemingly meagre total of 5-124.
But the Sixers kept their cool and stood up in the field.
Sarah Aley finished with outstanding numbers of 4-23 - including being on a hat-trick at the start of the 18th over - and Lauren Smith started to turn the game after she claimed the wicket of Suzie Bates with a dive and throw for a runout midway through the second innings.
Stand-in captain Alyssa Healy, who top scored with 40, said staying in matches was something the team had set out to do this season, after letting some get away from them during the first season, when they finished runners-up.
"That's something that I spoke about before the game today and I'm proud of this group at the how we've scrapped," Healy said.
"I think last year we got into some strife early and we didn't come back from it and this year we've got into strife early and we've fought and scrapped to the end.
"That was a big key for today, with batting first, that if we got into some strife we just scrap and put a total on the board and know that we can defend it.
"I guess that's the sign of a good team; to be able to scrap and find a win."
Aley finished as the highest wicket taker in the WBBL with 28.
The 32-year-old has been in great form for the Breakers and Sixers this summer but dismissed talk of a possible call-up to the Southern Stars late in her career.
"I'm not thinking about that at this stage," Aley said.
"It's been a great year for the Sixers and our goal was to make sure we came out and played really attacking cricket.
"We wanted to inspire young girls and boys to keep playing cricket or get into cricket and we wanted to be successful.
"That was our mantra throughout the year and that's what we did so anything else that comes is a bonus but we got the win this year so that's all we care about."
With plenty of young players coming through the Sixers' ranks, including Ashleigh Gardner, who was named the Young Gun for the tournament, the future looks bright for the Sydney side.
"We have such a young group of girls around the squad and they've all performed for us throughout the year at one stage or another," Healy said.
"We have a couple of old heads who may not come back next year but I think we can find a worthy replacement for them. The young girls have done unbelievably well for us this year which is really good for the future."
The Sixers finished with two players - Gardner and Healy - in the top five for player of the tournament voting. Brisbane Heat opener Beth Mooney took the title on 34 votes ahead of the Hobart Hurricanes' Amy Satterthwaite (29).
Meg Lanning came in at third ahead of Gardner and Healy.
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